Saturday, July 28, 2012

How My Asthmatic Son Taught Me Not to Underestimate His Potential

My younger son and I both have asthma. Although we are well controlled, we still carry rescue medication with us everywhere. Even well-controlled asthma can flare severely under the right (or wrong) circumstances.

I was especially cautious during a recent family vacation to Colorado. Living in the Midwest, we were unaccustomed to the thin mountain air, and I worried that my 3 year old might have his enjoyment of the trip ruined by asthma symptoms.

So when our agenda was modified to include a steep 1.2 mile hike to view a pristine lake nestled close to the mountaintop, I wondered aloud if we should leave him behind at the hotel with his grandparents. My husband (who does not have asthma) glibly replied, "Relax, he can handle it!".

"Easy for you to say," I retorted. "What are we going to do if he has an asthma attack halfway up the mountain?"

Dear hubby didn't need to reply. My fearless son overheard the conversation and chimed in: "I want to climb the mountain, too! Mommy, are we going to climb the mountain togedder?" Puppy dog eyes looked up at me, awaiting my answer...

One look at his earnest expression, and how could I deny him? After confirming that all our gear was in place (Water bottles? check. Inhaler?check. Spacer? check. Oxygen tank? Chill out, lady. This is Hanging Lake, not Mount Everest.), we set out on our journey.

We took our time, because the climb was rocky and steep, and his little legs didn't allow him to leap up the mountainside like his brother (who arrived at our destination nearly 40 minutes before we did!). However, I was amazed to find my little guy navigating the rocks like a pro! He climbed all the way up on his own power, never once asking to be carried. After a snack at the top, he made it down on his own too! Nearly 3 hours of hiking 2.4 miles at an elevation of over 7000 feet above sea level, all by himself. Thanks to a few puffs of prophylactic albuterol before the climb, no coughing, wheezing or shortness of breath interfered with our fun! All the other hikers stopped to tell him he was doing a great job, and proclaimed, "You must be the youngest hiker on this trail!" He was so proud. WE were so proud.

Having a laugh during a water break.

Waterfalls abound!

My take-away lesson? Well-controlled asthmatics really CAN do anything they put their minds to, even if they're only 3 years old and Mommy is a chicken.

Close to the top... kids are getting hungry.

As parents, we want to protect our kids from the mere possibility of harm. However, we shouldn't shelter them from amazing life experiences just because they carry a modicum of risk. Risk is a part of life. All we can do is give them a healthy foundation and teach them to make good choices... then we need to let them LIVE.


No risk, no reward!



5 comments:

  1. You're not the only one who worries about your kids having an asthma attack. We asthma moms know how quickly kids can run into trouble when they have asthma. As someone with asthma, who has 3 kids with asthma, it's a worry! Yes, we want them to be happy and try new things. BUT we never go anywhere without inhalers and spacers!

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  2. We did the same climb on our vacation in June - it was really difficult! My peanut allergy daughter (who has a touch of asthma) did better than I did (out of shape mom). We also used the inhaler before we left and once at the top - and stopped for lots of breathing/water breaks.

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  3. Great insight and great post! We at Vital Oxide understand how you feel as mother and how much work you put on your house, business and everything that surrounds your child so it can be a safe environment. With good care, asthmatic children can do everything and more any other child can, never underestimate a child

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  4. Hi Sakina, Yours is an inspiring story for all the mothers who have asthmatic children. Right medicines and will power to do something has helped him to climb. I would rather give full marks to your little one for his determination and will power.

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  5. I hope you got a good chance to know about your son self confident. My point is that never ever under estimate any one. Just take care of your family and son, live a happy life. Cheers. Thank You |Buy asthma inhaler online |

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